Heartfelt are a charity service that preserves memories of the babies who didn’t make it. Professional photographers take photos of stillborn babies, so that their parents have a record of the moments they shared.
Kristalee Pollock and her husband Brendan are two of those parents. Kristalee and Brendan spoke to ABC’s 7:30 about the days that changed their lives forever and how a volunteer photographer from the charity Heartfelt helped the family cope with their loss.
KRISTALEE: A doctor came in and did the ultrasound. I guess as soon as we saw the picture of the baby, we knew… ‘Cause she wasn’t moving at all.
BRENDON: And we were actually in the very end room, 15, 20 rooms along, so we had to walk past every room as we went along that hallway, and as we walked past each room, you could hear the joy in people and families with the newborn babies. And I knew we were going down the corridor to be told that she’d passed away. And that was really difficult.
Lola Pollock was stillborn two days later.
KRISTALEE: She was born in two hours, and then we spent the next 24 hours with her. As devastating and awful as it was, it was also joyous because this was the only time that our family had to meet Lola so it was very bittersweet.
The family agreed to have portraits taken by a volunteer photographer from the charity Heartfelt.
KRISTALEE: Gavin arrived, the photographer. I was gone for hours, I think about a couple of hours. And Gavin was there for the entire time. He was there probably I think half an hour after Lola was born and stayed for hours while I was not there and he captured all the things that I missed while I was gone, which I’m forever grateful for.
The President of Heartfelt, Gavin Blue says: “It’s a gift to give them some memory because usually it’s the last thing people think of in a time like that. And when this sort of stuff happens, having a photo that you can share really helps the grieving for a family.”
These are not photo of Lola but they’re an example of the kinds of photos Heartfelt take. These images are being shared with the kind permission of the families.